The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Border Raiders

On Thursday Aldi had garden parasols and bases on their 'Special Buys'. I did a little research on the internet and decided they were very good value, especially the bases. It was a lovely day so I got my car roof down for the first time this year on the trip into Berwick.

When we got there they had already sold out of the bases, but we bought a parasol. I then had the bright idea of phoning Maureen to see if the branches near her still had the bases. We didn't have her phone number on us but Paul got it from one of the enquiry numbers. She very kindly said she would try, and managed to get the penultimate one from her branch for us. She will bring it down when she and Colin come to stay for this year's Jim Clark rally, which will be going past our house again this year.

Friday morning I spent removing an agapanthus that I had brought up with me from Sandhurst from its pot and dividing it up into four. I potted them up and gave one to Anne.

Maggie over at Preston had sent me an invite to her spring opening of 'Outside-In' - urns, pots and other garden accessories. I asked Anne if she would like to come along so it was arranged that I would pick her up on Friday afternoon. It was another lovely day so I put my roof down again - Anne said that it was her first time ever in an open top car!

We were a little disappointed when we got there - there were a few garden things but I think our expectations had been a lot higher. I did buy a garden ornament pottery squirrel which I will have to find a place for him to peek out from. We met Penny, who is a good friend of Anne's, and I had met for the first time at the Berwickshire Bridge Congress recently. We all came back to mine for coffee.

I had missed my garden over the weekend, and on Monday morning did my patrol to see what developments had occurred. Jean had invited us to come over some time to see her garden so we arranged to go over in the afternoon, and she had said to bring the dogs. I was somewhat nervous about this as she has two dogs of her own and we weren't sure how ours would behave.

As it was they were fine. It must be a territorial thing and they knew they were the guests. We all went for a walk together up to the top of a hill where we had an excellent view of the countryside for miles all around. Other than Poncho wanting to be in the lead and occasionally being over enthusiastic in his interest in the other two dogs he was very well behaved. Jen, after the initial sniffing, acted as if there were no other dogs around.

When we got back Jean showed us around her garden. It is the complete opposite of mine - dry, flat and alkaline. It was thriving with a great variety of shrubs, trees, perennials and vegetable patch. Many of the shrubs had been raised from cuttings and were now enormous. It gets a lot more sun than mine, and where we had plants in common hers were well ahead of mine in size and flowering.

Jean then got a spade and a large pot, and dug up pieces of a variety of plants for me - euphorbias, viola, Japanese anemones, phlox, polyganum, thyme, echinops (?) and a large clump of something I have forgotten the name of already but I divided into six decent sized plants when I got home. She also insisted on giving me a cutting of an unknown indoor plant - I am not good with house plants, the average lifespan of them normally being measured in weeks...

We stayed for a coffee and chat, and then headed back for home after a very pleasant afternoon. Poncho was even very good in the car on the way home - he lay down, which is almost unheard of, rather than standing staring out of the window. I spent the next hour or two potting up my goodies - it looks as if there are only a couple of casualties that may not pull through.

Jean is invited back to us for a reciprocal garden viewing/raid...

Paul also went raiding over the weekend on the garden budget. Spurred on after chatting to Anne he bought an electric lawn rake from Aldis. It lasted one day before it broke and was duly returned this morning and the garden budget has been re-credited. The only trouble is that he is now enamoured with the idea and is looking at more expensive ones. I am now suggesting the garden budget is split into two - lawn/verges (his responsibility) and borders...

1 comment:

Mathew Tait. said...

Why not make a set of light harrows for the dogs. (Wooden frame and 6" nails with a swingle-tree connection to the traces. Better than an electric lawn rake and the dogs would be getting exercise.

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